2020.04.08 – Post Tornado

Today is Day 22 of stay-at-home orders.

COVID-19-induced-anxiety or no, I’ve not been falling asleep lately. It’s taken me at least 30 minutes (when usually, I can zonk in about 5). And for the record: NO, I’m not going to blame my luxuriously decadent post-lunch, working-from-home comas on this either.

I think I’d been asleep for maybe about 20 minutes when Charlie shook me awake last night.

“Get in the basement, there’s a tornado coming.”

Thank God Rox was still on the bed next to me, rather than off doing her Nightime Cat Stuff(TM). I scooped her up and struggled to put on pajama pants at the same time that horribly tinny Emergency Alert Service warning hit both of our phones. I feel only a little bad that I had to wrestle her suddenly-Jello-body into the carrier as we made our way downstairs.

Midway down the basement stairs, the tornado siren located a block from our house started going off. I could hear both the siren and the storm raging. From our basement safety location, I could only listen and hope that even if we didn’t make it through unscathed, the damage would be mitigateable.

I don’t know if I had been asleep with earplugs in for the actual tornado, it it was so close that the sounds were indistinguishable from each other. All I know is that it was loud, terrifying and unrelenting.

Charlie followed AJ on the Fox 8 app through the tornado – who, by the way, sounded about as shaken tracking the tornado as we were going through it – and at some point, the tornado siren stopped and we felt safe enough to emerge from the basement. Not safe enough to move back to the second floor or let the cat out of her carrying case, but safe enough not to spend the rest of the night in the basement.

The storm still raged on for a while, and the whole house lost power at about 12:30. Laying in the dark under my weighted blanket on The World’s Most Uncomfortable Couch for Sleeping, I could hear the eerie sounds of multiple transformers exploding. It’s a sound I can’t really describe, but I will always know it when I hear it.

This morning, I did the pits-n-bits bath (no power = no hot water), brushed my teeth, put on makeup and actually sojurned downtown to get the little bit of necessary work done that I needed to for my client. At the same time, Charlie was on the hunt to find a generator, because there’s no time to Doomsday prep like when the horse has already left the barn, eh?

I did try to stop on the main drag in Medina to pick up some Wendy’s, and both it and my backup plan (McDonald’s) were still without power as I made my way back home. However, when I did get home, Charlie was there (with shiny new generator found in North Olmsted), and pointing out that the power was back on.

We are 90% sure that the actual path of the tornado was up the state highway one road over from our house: huge, old trees were either ripped up by their roots or twisted off in the middle. The Square was closed to traffic, that route was closed to traffic, and we had to make huge loops around the city to get to the north to buy gas & oil for our shiny new generator, and get something to eat since we couldn’t open the fridge for fear of losing power.

A ton of photos from the storm can be found on Cleveland.com

We were incredibly lucky: only a little bit of siding pulled away from the house. We had what was once a beautiful cotton tree taken down last fall as it had shuffled across this mortal coil, and I’m glad we did. That sucker would have gone right through the house if it was still on the property.

I’m also glad that the fridge stayed cold while the power was off. Charlie had just gone grocery shopping yesterday — in coronavirus, mind you — and I was going to be hella pissed if we had to throw out brand new eggs, milk, and the leftover proteins we’d been cooking and eating during quarantine.


We are currently in Day 21 of Ohio’s stay-at-home orders.

Of course, the days run together, and you wonder if it really is Blursday, or perhaps maybe Smarch 87th. Most days run a lot like this:

6:30 am – wake up, feed the cat, make coffee, shower, watch the news, put on makeup
8:30 am – start work
12:00 pm – lunch break with a nap on the couch (finally, I’m able to give into my baser instincts while working from home)
1:00 pm – back to work
4:30 pm – finish work for the day
4:30 – 10:00 pm – watch the news, surf Reddit, read a book, go for a walk around the block, go to bed

And on, and on, until quarantine is lifted.

Working from home is fine…. I miss the routine of going into work, working at a space solely dedicated to work, and the odd event that I have to attend.

I do like the nap part in the middle of the day, though. It’s a lot better than the occasional Hobo Nap I’ve had to take at work.

But for the most part, the schedule is largely unchanged, I just never change the ZIP code I’m in to do any of the things that I normally do. I am working shorter hours, and I wonder if that’s because there’s less work to do, or because my the nature of my brain needs me to be on-location to find small projects for myself to do.

I’m happy that The Apiary has never stayed this tidy for this long. Being gone 11 hours a day makes it hard to justify the extra 5-10 minutes it takes to make the bed every morning. But that extra time doesn’t really matter when your commute is 25 feet. If it takes 21 days to really build a habit, making the bed and folding clothes after each wear will have been firmly ingrained in my brain.

Things I am Looking Forward to Doing After Stay-at-Home Orders are Lifted

  • Actually commute downtown to work
  • Get the car washed
  • Spending an entire afternoon mindlessly wandering around TJMaxx
  • Getting a haircut
  • Going out to a local restaurant to eat, and lingering over dinner
  • Going to the post office
  • Going to Drug Mart and actually being able to pick up a bottle of counter-top cleaner
  • Having brunch with K, MissLyss, or literally any (every) one in my contact list
  • Having The Brothers come stay at The Apiary Bed & Breakfast
  • Going to Sunday Night Dinner at my in-laws house

And I promise to be more mindful and not complain about the annoying aspects of the above listed in the future.

Friday 5 for April 3: AKA March 73rd

Up at the top, I’d mentioned recently about Rox having kidney disease (and, apparently, hypertension). We’ve got her on the prescription food, and added Semintra (at $100/bottle – making her meds the most expensive in the house), and she’s really turned a corner. Eating everything in her dish – which to me, is the biggest change. So, I think we’re in a good spot maintaining the health that she has for now.

So, onwards to this week’s Friday 5.

1. What did you have too much of this week?

Overdosed on the news: Twitter, my feeds, television. I’ve put a moratorium on news at The Apiary to a single news program per day. And it’s usually NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. Because we both love Lester.

Also, we watched the recent Frontline on plastics recycling, to which we both looked at each other after and asked, “WHY DO WE KEEP TIVO’ING FRONTLINE?! IT ONLY MAKES US MAD!” If there was any good to come of it, I maybe got Charlie on working on more sustainable practices at The Apiary. Maybe.

2. What did you have not enough of this week?

Well, I mean, obviously the opportunity to actually get out of this house.

I did sneak out this morning and go to the post office drive through to mail a letter.

But I’ve also skipped most of the neighborhood walkabouts that Charlie went on. I shouldn’t have ignored as many of them as I did. But here we are.

3. What did you have in just the right amount or number?

I finished The War on Peace earlier this week, and started on You Are Not so Smart. So, the amount of books that I’ve been reading have been just the right amount.

I’m 40% through You Are Not So Smart, and while it’s fine, I may pick at a couple of the chapters on topics I’m not as familiar with and shelve the rest. What with my general feeling of “this country and everything in life sucks,” this book doesn’t do a whole lot to help you feel very good or empowered about your place in society or the universe.

If The Body: A Guide for Occupants is actually available through the library, I’ll pick that one up instead.

4. What’s better today than it was a week ago?

It’s a bad week to ask me, but the weather is better. Sunny and blue skies today, if a little chilly.

5. When they make a movie about last month, what would be a good song for the soundtrack?

It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) is a little too on-the-nose.

Let’s go with Broadripple is Burning as a good song to play to get yourself really in your feelings when you feel like everything has gone to shit.

Source: f.riday5.com

Friday 5 for March 13: Social Distancing

1. In what ways have recent events altered your everyday life or your plans?

On the plus side, personally, I’ve been a complete hermit as of late, so my personal schedule of Work -> Home -> Couch -> Bed has stayed largely uninterrupted. Unless I am staffing an event, and then I’ll be out in throngs of people. But even then, as a staffer, no one is shaking my hand, or getting close enough that there is a substantial risk of me inhaling their germs.

In the events management field, there aren’t quite flames coming out of the tailpipe, but we’ve moved a board meeting to teleconference only, another client has canceled their conference, and I’m in a holding pattern, waiting to see if my committees still want to host the events that they have planned in April. (Update: as of writing this paragraph, one event has already been canceled.)

I’m supposed to go to Vegas at the end of April for a client conference, and as of today, there is no plans to cancel, but Charlie is less than thrilled at the idea of me getting on plane to head out there. We’re going to play that one by ear.

My job could very well be done from the comfort of my home, but that is not how the owner wants it to be set up. We’ve taken a few baby steps toward remote work if that’s where this goes, but there’s no plan for us to work full-time from home as of yet.

2. Where’s a good place to dine out if you want to practice comfortable social distancing?

Just eat at home, really.

ESPECIALLY after you cleaned out the entire grocery store of flour !! Make yourself a damn loaf of bread from scratch.

3. How’s your mood lately?


What I need to do is get the fuck off of social media, because all it’s doing is making me utterly fatalistic and most definitely un-patriotic (hint: America ain’t that great and never was).

4. If you’re forced to isolate at home for a couple of weeks, what would be your primary source of entertainment?

I have a jillion books on my “Want to Read” list on Goodreads, so I would start by plowing through that. (I am smitten with Word Runner on my Kindle, which has made reading nonfiction much more efficient.)

But at the same time, I’d like to take the time to actually get away from the slug life and catch up on laundry, clean the house the way it really needs to be, and keep whittling away at getting rid of the crap I don’t need.

5. How do you think you’d be able to handle two weeks of isolation at home, assuming whoever you live with (if anyone) would do the same?

Governor Mike DeWine has already canceled school until April, so Charlie is guaranteed to be teaching from home.

IF our company goes the work-from-home route, we finally have an office that can fit both he and I working in it without being on top of each other. I have gotten so good at working at at open office bullpen that I could largely ignore him.

Don’t get me wrong — I love the man very, very much — but he is as extroverted as I am introverted and there is a reason we don’t take long staycations together.

Source: f.riday5.com

Wherein The Apiary Becomes the Hotel California

So, the long and short of it is that Rox is a very senior cat, who should be turning 17 this June. And, as happens in senior cats, she is at Stage 2 Kidney Disease. We got blood results back today that say the prescription food that we are torturing (her words, not mine) her with is working, and the proteins in her bloodstream have gone down dramatically.

This is great news, but I understand the reality that we are buying time. Hopefully, very comfortable, happy, and loving time, but time. At some point, everyone – you, me, the dog next door, and yes, even Roxie – will shrug off the chains of mortality and become a different type of energy in the Universe.

But at least I get more of it with the Tabby Terror.

As I was talking with our vet about treatment options and care — over Roxie’s stoned-out-of-her-gourd body on the exam table, mind you — she paused, turned over an idea and very carefully slid it across to me.

“And look…this is an option…and I only recommend it because I’ve had very angry pet parents ask my why I didn’t bring them every possible option for treatment for kidney disease, but there are transplants for cats.”

Okay; I’ll bite. How does that work?

Well, gentle friends, it works by adopting some unsuspecting cat to reenact an urban legend upon, and then give that kidney to Roxie. Thereby, two cats and only two working kidneys.

To say my reaction was visceral might be an understatement, “That’s fucking ghoulish!”

The vet’s relief to my reaction was palpable. Roxie, however, informed us she could hear colors from the gabapentin I’d given her.